At Access Services our mission is all about empowering and serving people who need help to live the lives they dream of in the community. We do that through innovative services like our Youth Outdoor Expedition program. This program brings leadership, character development, and skill building opportunities to adolescents who are at-risk in their home or school settings. Through summer camping trips they rock climb, learn to pitch a tent, fish, canoe, and much more. In these activities they learn teamwork, conflict resolution and other skills they need for future success. Youth from our Foster Care and Rebound Programs often participate in these trips.

On a recent trip two youth from the Rebound mentoring program attended our boys Poconos trip. Mentors in the Rebound program have been working with juvenile probation in assisting these two teens make better choices to improve their current participation and maximize their opportunities for future success. Both of the boys live in lower income housing with limited positive parental involvement. They never had the opportunity to explore the outdoors in this way…until now! On this camping trip, both teens experienced building their first fire, making their own walking stick, climbing a rock wall, hiking a mountain, picking wild blueberries, seeing bald eagles, fishing, canoeing down the Delaware River, camping by the river, and many other activities that provided excitement and significant learning opportunities. These trips, when executed well, can set youth on a path to a lifetime of outdoor adventure and appreciation of the world around them.

Youth Outdoor Expedition is not billable to our traditional funding streams which means we rely on the generosity of supporters to cover activity costs, purchase and rent equipment, and pay our mentors. Donations received during #GivingTuesday will help cover these costs and bring additional activities, like outdoor photography, to the program.